49ers Kicked off San Francisco Fleet Week to Honor the Nation's Servicemen and Women

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Several 49ers players including Torrey Smith and Garrett Celek visited the USS Somerset to spend time with military personnel.

In observance of San Francisco Fleet Week 2015, the 49ers honored servicemen and women through a variety of events
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To celebrate our country's servicemen and women, the San Francisco 49ers, including WR Torrey Smith, TE Garrett Celek and WR DiAndre Campbell, participated in several events to kick-off San Francisco's 2015 Fleet Week, which runs from October 5-12. Now in its 35th year, San Francisco Fleet Week celebrates the rich naval tradition in the Bay Area, honors our nation's service members, and facilitates annual disaster preparedness training between the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and local first responders.

On Monday, October 5, the 49ers boarded the USS Somerset (LPD 25), a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship, to celebrate the nation's military for an afternoon of fun-filled activities and remembrance.

The USS Somerset, named after the Pennsylvania county where 40 passengers and crew lost their lives on United Flight 93 as part of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, is capable of transporting nearly 1,200 Sailors and Marines. The San Antonio-class LPDs combine 21st century amphibious ship building and war fighting technologies to support current and future Marine Corps aircraft and landing craft.

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  • WR Torrey Smith and a group of US Navy Sailors celebrate their win against the Marines in the quarterback challenge mini-camp held on the USS Somerset's flight deck.*

The centerpiece of the flight deck, where the 49ers began the afternoon leading military personnel in a range of non-contact football drills, features the catchphrase, "Let's Roll." The 40 stars surrounding the phrase represent the 40 Americans who lost their lives on United Flight 93.

The ship's slogan, derived from United Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer's last words before he and other courageous passengers took back the plane to prevent it from reaching Washington, D.C., is a constant reminder to the Navy, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and California National Guard personnel of what the LPD signifies.

Capt. Lennie Reed, commanding officer of the USS Somerset, drove this point home and underscored the significance of the day when he administered the Oath of Enlistment to Navy, Marines Corps and Coast Guard enlistees and their family members.

"United Flight 93 was headed to San Francisco," said Capt. Reed.  "This ship was out in Pennsylvania for commissioning a year and a half ago and we've been trying to get to San Francisco to complete their intended flight. That happened today. Today Somerset pulled into San Francisco."

"Their legacy continues," Capt. Reed said as he concluded the enlistment ceremony. "Great Americans serve and they serve well."

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  • TE Garrett Celek and WR Torrey Smith participate in the pinning of a Marine during a re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Somerset.*

The San Francisco 49ers then had the unique opportunity to participate in the ceremony where WR Torrey Smith and TE Garrett Celek assisted in promoting a Marine during a pinning ceremony. The Marine chose the two 49ers to partake in the honor because he is a lifelong fan of the team.

"It's an honor to be here today amongst real heroes," said WR Torrey Smith to more than 200 servicemen and women in attendance. "If it weren't for you and your commitment [to serve], we wouldn't be able to live our dream. We thank you and have so much respect for you."

The afternoon continued for the 49ers with a tour of the ship – which included a visit to the Captain's chair and the onboard memorial museum of United 93's passengers – and concluded with dinner in the mess hall alongside Navy and Marine Corps servicemen and women.

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  • TE Garrett Celek autographs a Faithful Flag towel for a Marine beneath the flight deck's motto, "Let's Roll." *
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